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Initial Impressions of Star Trek Beyond

Opinions on the JJ Abrams rebooted Star Trek movies are divided among Star Trek fans.  Ever since the release of Star Trek in 2009, I found myself a bit conflicted about these films.  In my opinion, the best of Trek often does not rely on action and provides excellent storytelling and character development.

That being said, I generally like Star Trek 2009.  The Star Trek film franchise was killed after the awful Star Trek: Nemesis, and, after an 18 year run on television, there were no current Star Trek shows on the air.  Star Trek 2009 was exactly what Trek needed at the time.  A fresh, exciting movie to get general audiences interested in Star Trek.

I did not like Star Trek Into Darkness.  After watching Into Darkness, I was not optimistic about the next film.

I watched Star Trek Beyond as part of a marathon at the Regal Cinema in Chicago.  Prior to seeing Beyond, I had an opportunity to rewatch 2009 and Into Darkness.  This gave me some good perspective going into Star Trek Beyond, but it also meant I was a little burnt out by the time the movie started.  I’ll be seeing it again in a couple days, which is why this is not a review of Beyond, but rather my initial impressions.

Minor spoilers follow.

HP Instant Ink - Ink has Arrived

On Wednesday September 2, 2015 I got a box from HP containing my first Instant Ink shipment.  From what I'm reading they will not start charging me until I insert this ink into my printer.  I'm not going to do that until the ink that shipped with the printer run's out. It may be a month or more before that happens.

HP Instant Ink - The Beginning

I’m from Illinois and everybody in Illinois “know’s a guy”.  It really doesn’t matter what your talking about. 
You broke your leg… “Don’t worry! I know a guy how can fix that."
I’m having problem’s with my car.. “I got a guy who can handle that."
My “friends” alway’s send me pictures of clowns…  “Call my guy he’ll take care of that."

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I start complaining about "the printer Ink racket",  and more than a few people claim “I know a guy who just buys a new printer instead of buying that F*^&!ng ink. 'cause it's cheaper”.  Of course that's alway's followed by the inevitable  “Call my ink guy”.

A few months ago when I heard about HP's Instant Ink program I thought to myself well that’s interesting but let’s face it I just don’t print enough to justify yet another monthly service to pay for.

Did the TNG Films Live Up to Q’s Speech in "All Good Things?"

May 1994.  It was a bittersweet time for Trekkies.  On May 23, 1994, after 7 seasons, 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' aired its final episode.

I was sad to see the series end - but excited about the upcoming feature films and 'Star Trek: Voyager.'

I had to work during the time that the TNG finale, "All Good Things," originally aired.  So, I setup my Tivo to record it.  No, that’s not right… it was 1994…  I programmed my VCR to tape the episode.

After work, I invited a friend over, and we enjoyed what might the best episode of TNG.

At the end of the episode, Picard finally joins his crew for a game of poker.  As he deals, the camera pans out from above the table, then the Enterprise.  “So, five-card stud, nothing wild. And the sky's the limit."

But let’s rewind a little bit to Picard’s final conversation with Q.  After Picard solved the time paradox (and saved humanity), Q tells him, “...That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence."

So, did the 4 TNG movies that followed live up to this statement?  Let’s take a look.

Engadget 's Wonderful Wii U Post

I recently wrote a post that explains why I'm such a big fan of the Wii U.

I'm somewhat baffled by the mainstream mentality when it comes to console gaming.  The PS4 sold very well at launch despite a weak lineup of launch titles.  Even now, I haven't seen anything on the PS4 that makes it feel like a necessary upgrade from the PS3.

I'm also amazed by how many Call of Duty games (and other similar first-person shooters) can be released and still sell like hotcakes.  It's a gaming genre that has grown very stale, and I'll never understand what is so appealing about playing a game in which you play the role of a soldier in a simulation of real war.

The writers & editors at Engadget recently posted a brilliantly refreshing article entitled 'Nintendo was right about the Wi U.  We were wrong.'

I'd like to share some of my favorite quotes from this post.

Bug Vs. The Evil Dead

My parents were divorced when I was young, and at the age of 12 - 4 years after they split up - my mom brought home a man for me and my siblings to meet.  He was a truck mechanic for Ryder.  However he had a friend that could get VHS tapes on movies that were still in theaters. The first one he brought to our house was Evil Dead 2.  While my brothers and sister were not allowed to watch it (due to the movie being rated R), I was.  Already being a horror movie lover, I fell in love with this movie.  I even played hooky from school the following day and watched it again.

A Gift for MJ

There are three contributors to Near the Atmosphere.  Bug, MJ, and myself...

DS9 Had No Trouble with Tribbles

If you're a Trekkie, but not a fan of Deep Space Nine, you owe it yourself to watch DS9's fifth season episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations".

If you're have a casual familiarity with Star Trek, particularly the original series, you owe it yourself to watch DS9's fifth season episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations".

Scratch all of the above.  Just go watch DS9's fifth season episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations".

This episode was produced in celebration of Star Trek's 30th anniversary, and it paid tribute to the original series by adding the DS9 crew to the classic TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles".

This could have been an epic disaster.  It could have come off as a tacky attempt to mix DS9 with the original series.  Instead, it is a masterfully done episode full of comedic moments and tributes to the original series.

I’m a Fan of the Underrated Wii U

Why, you ask?  Thanks for asking.

The obvious, easy answer is that I’m a big fan of Nintendo.

But that doesn’t mean that I love everything that Nintendo produces.  For example, I mostly abandoned my Wii in the later years of its life because I was baffled that Nintendo still did not have a game system capable of HD.  (I still want to play the Super Mario Galaxy games in full HD!)

I didn’t purchase a Wii U when it launched.  If I remember correctly, it was the trailers for Super Mario 3D World that pushed me over the fence.